Is It Legal?
Getting a permit in the USA
Click here for the instructions and application for a Fuel Distillation Plant. It is a 5 page Adobe document, which you can print and submit per the instructions. Please pay special attention to the part where they are asking for a drawing showing which building on your property where the still will be located. This is because they do not want to license a still located in a backyard or garage of a house in a residential area. They show a simple drawing of a still located on a 1200 farm, but do not state what the minimum acreage would be for a farm based still. If you do not own a farm, the best way to get an ATF Fuel Distiller's Permit is to indicate that you will run the still in a building which is not attached to a house (like an attached garage).
Robert Warren running his still in Boulder, Colorado.  The placard at the top is his BATF alcohol still license.
How difficult/expensive is the US licensing process for making alcohol?
Getting a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) is not difficult, and only takes about a month.

Click here to see the 5 pages of forms and instructions for the "fuel distillers' permit". Be sure to check the box showing that you will produce less than 10,000 gallons per year, or you will have to post a bond.
Take a look at this new web site from the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) for kids. It tells you how to get the permit.
I thought it pretty strange that the BATF would have a web page for kids, but it is even stranger that this site for kids is labeled, "Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives".  Check it out:
Application form 5110.74 and additional information are available from:
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms,
National Revenue Center, Spirits Unit A,
550 Main Street, Room 8002,
Cincinnati, OH 45202-3263
1-800-398-2282 or (513) 684-7150
Legal and safety issues
License application
Safety and boiler operations
Can you drink it?
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